PC in pounds 20m gold smuggling case walks free from court

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The Independent Online
A woman constable, drawn by her former policeman father into a pounds 20m gold smuggling operation, sobbed with relief when a judge let her walk free from court yesterday.

Lucie Gilmore, 25, a probationary officer who acted as a courier for cross-Channel trips to buy high purity bullion, covered her face after being given 240-hours of community service.

The West Mercia officer, who has a six-month-old daughter, faced up to seven years in jail. Passing sentence, Knightsbridge Crown Court Judge Christopher Hordern told Gilmore, convicted in January of conspiracy to cheat by evading pounds 3.4m value added tax due on three tons of the precious metal, that what she had done was "very serious". He said: "It must have seemed pretty glamorous at the time . . . It does seem to me you played a very minor part under the influence of someone who should have known very much better, namely your father."

Gilmore, of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, remains suspended from the West Mercia Constabulary pending an appeal against conviction. Sentence against her fellow conspirator, Surrinder Kumar, a 32-year-old jeweller, was adjourned.

Gilmore's father, Michael, 53, was jailed for two years after admitting a conspiracy charge.